Anybody who is following the Twins should know that the Twins are in discussions with the Seattle Mariners concerning Cliff Lee. Theses talks “are ‘interesting’ and have ‘posibilities.'” These talks have gone to the point where it has been reported that Bill Smith has offered Wilson Ramos and Aaron Hicks for Lee.
The fact that Aaron Hicks could be included in a deal for Cliff Lee has many fans outraged. They believe, and wisely so, that he is too good of a prospect to give up for 2-3 (regular season) months of Cliff Lee. He was, after all, ranked by Baseball America as the 19th best prospect in all of baseball. As Seth Stohs says, Hicks isn’t untouchable, but he shouldn’t be traded for a rental player. That is conventional wisdom and I was agreeing with it, until I thought further.
I wondered a couple of things. The first I wondered was how many of the recent 1st round picks have made it to the big leagues and either had success or are currently having success. I figured some of them have probably had success (I heard there was some guy named Mauer) and that some of them probably didn’t. The next thing I wondered was how is the payroll going to be in the coming years? Surely there will be players with payroll increases meaning that it will be harder to keep around players like the free agent acquisitions Hudson and Thome.
Part 1: Recent 1st Round Picks
1st Round Pick-1997-Michael Cuddyer:
Like him or hate him, Michael Cuddyer has had success in the big leagues. He has been put in many positions on the field and his real success started in 2006 when right field became his home. He got comfortable there and put together a 3.1 WAR season. In his 2 full seasons since then (he was injured for the majority of 2008) he put together 2.6 WAR seasons. This season hasn’t been as successful, but he has been a decent 1st round pick.